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Slow Computers
There are few things more frustrating in life than a slow computer. Sitting waiting while the little hourglass symbol hovers on the display for an eternity can make even the mildest person want to smash their screen!

What is even more frustrating is to give up and finally pay to upgrade to a faster, more modern computer and find that it is even slower than your old one - this is exactly the issue faced by many people who had an old computer running Windows XP and moved to a new one running Windows Vista Basic.

The issue is that Vista is more memory hungry than XP and it loads a load of information and services into RAM when it starts up.

Many of these services can be turned off or disabled which will improve the performance of your computer.

Click here to see some tips and tweaks for Windows Vista users.

Speeding Up Slow Computers
There are several reasons why computers can start to run slowly. Before going out to buy a new computer or new hardware to upgrade your current system, here are some tips to try:

Trialware
Trialware is often referred to as crapware or junkware. This is the term used to refer trial versions of programs that come pre-loaded on computers. Critics complain that trialware is unwanted, useless, and sometimes hard to remove by design -- all the while taking up valuable disk space. Most crapware is operational for a trial period in hopes of persuading the user into buying the full version. Remove Trialware by going into Control Panel from your Start Menu and then select Add and Remove Programs.

Disk clean-up
Next, if you've been using your PC for a while, let Windows Vista free up file space on your hard drive.
1. Click your Start menu, then Computer.
2. Right-click on your hard drive.
3. On the General tab, choose Properties.
4. Click "Disk Cleanup".
5. In a few moments, you'll get a list of what Windows doesn't need anymore. Make sure all the boxes are checked, then click OK. you'll be asked to confirm your choices; click Delete Files.

Open your Browser and from the Tools menu Delete all Temporary Internet Files.

Delete all files from your Recycle Bin

Defragment your hard drive (instructions assume Windows Vista being used)
1. Click your Start menu, then select Computer.
2. Right-click on the icon for your hard drive.
3. On the General tab, choose Properties.
4. Click "Defragmentation".

Once you have completed all of the above restart your computer to see if there is any noticeable difference in start up time.

If there is not any improvement, you may want to consider a hardware upgrade.

The most common Hardware upgrade options to speed up your computer are:

  • Increase the amount of RAM in your system
  • Upgrade to a faster CPU
  • Replace your entire computer

Next topic: Printers and Printing

or Click here to see some tips and tweaks for Windows Vista users.

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